Viewpoints

Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints

PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Dec 20, 2012

Thanksgiving

Bill Gajda on the Future of Mobile Payments

The widespread adoption of Internet-enabled devices – smart phones, tablets, laptops and PCs – enable consumers to shop online, anywhere, anytime – especially this holiday season. According to IBM, 24% of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site over Thanksgiving & Black Friday, up from 14.3% in 2011.

As we shared earlier this week , while Cyber Monday remained the busiest online shopping day of the year – representing an astounding $2.1 billion in online sales from U.S. Visa account holders – Visa’s network has seen seven days that topped more than $1 billion in online sales in the U.S. this holiday season.

In the following video, Bill Gajda, Head of Global Mobile Products for Visa, shares his view on how innovations in mobile and payment technology, including near-field communications, are changing the landscape of commerce this holiday season and into the future. 

 

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Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on December 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Nov 21, 2012

‘Tis the Season for Ringing Checkout Registers

It’s the time of year when retailers hope that you’ve made Santa’s “Nice” list, so there are lots of presents under the tree and all stockings are stuffed! So far, early indications suggest that the season will be jolly, keeping Santa and his reindeers’ travel schedules fully booked.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday shopping will increase 4.1 percent to $586 billion this year. Additionally, this week Adobe predicted online sales on Cyber Monday would top $2 billion this year, representing an 18 percent increase over 2011. Also of note: a prediction that mobile commerce would represent more than one-fifth (21 percent) of all online sales this holiday season.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are typically thought of as two of the busiest holiday shopping days of the year, a closer look at our United States-driven eCommerce data may suggest otherwise. We tasked some of our holiday number-crunching elves at Visa to look at debit and credit card purchases over the past 10 holiday seasons and found some interesting trends:

  • Weekend warriors: With a few notable exceptions (Black Friday, Cyber Monday), shopping volumes tend to climb significantly on Saturday and Sunday and drop off during the weekdays. [No matter which day you shop, if you are doing it online, V.me by Visa can help simplify the process.]
  • eCommerce excellence: According to Forrester, shoppers are expected to spend $226 million online this year alone.
  • Shopping strongholds: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are BUSY shopping days—but not the busiest of the year.
  • Procrastination purchasing: Waiting until the last minute to buy gifts means a rush before Christmas. Over the last 10 years, December 22, 23 and 24th have been the busiest shopping days of the holiday season.

Whether past trends hold true this holiday season, or other days emerge as shopping surprises remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: checkout registers – whether online, mobile or in stores – will be busy ringing with the holiday sounds of spending.

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Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on November 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Nov 19, 2012

#HolidaySuccess: Tips for Small Business Owners

A few weeks ago, we shared the Small Business Holiday Success Guide that we recently launched with USA Today small business columnist, Rhonda Abrams. As the holiday season is upon us, we are excited to bring you the first in a series of posts that will provide you with more in-depth strategies to help make this a successful holiday season for your small business. In this series, we will cover money management, holiday marketing techniques, tips for extending holiday success into the New Year, and more. – Janet Zablock @jzablock

6 Tips for Social Media Holiday Success

Social Media 411 chart

Whether it’s money management or marketing, every aspect of your business requires a plan. That includes social media marketing. Keep in mind the following six tips when developing your social media strategy:

  1. Remember, it’s better to give than to receive.Anything you tweet, post, pin, or blog should offer value. Just like you’ll tune out your know-it-all brother-in-law at Thanksgiving dinner, your followers will drop you if all you do is talk about your product or service and why they should buy it. Instead:
    • Write blogs showing how you meet customers’ holiday needs
    • Post links to articles and videos your followers will find useful or entertaining.
    • Discuss promotions and special items you’re offering just for the holidays.
    • Refresh your content often during the holidays to bring customers back.
  2. Write your content in advance. Before you’re knee deep in gift wrap, write as many of those blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts as you can, and merely publish them according to the calendar. Brainstorm the topics, themes, and promotions you’ll cover. Then create a calendar of what to post when (a spreadsheet is best, but a physical calendar also works).
  3. Regift. No, I don’t mean unload that itchy orange and purple sweater your mother gave you last year. I’m talking about repurposing your content. You’ve already taken the time to write your blogs and email newsletters. Now save time. Pull material out for tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn updates.
  4. Put some tasks on auto-pilot. During the holidays especially, you don’t have the resources to update and like posts on Facebook all day. Of course, you’ll still pay attention to the conversation. With tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Manageflitter, you can pre-load all that content you wrote in advance and schedule it to post later.
  5. Encourage engagement. Create surveys. Ask questions. Run a contest. Do what you can to encourage followers to engage. When they do engage, respond.
  6. Manage review sites. According to SearchEngineLand,76 percent of customers visit sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Zagat to find the best meal, store, hotel, and more. Make it easy for your customers to post positive reviews. The tool ReviewBiz allows you to embed an icon in your website that will take your customers directly to local review sites.

Visit www.visa.com/holidaysuccess to download the Small Business Holiday Success Guide and learn more!

–Rhonda Abrams (@RhondaAbrams), USA Today Small Business Columnist and Expert

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Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm